Friday, 11 September 2020

HIDDEN GEMS - TOP 10 FORGETTEN FMV ADVENTURES


I'm back from a little holiday with another TOP 10 list! This time we're looking at the oft-maligned FMV adventure, complete with over-the-top acting and CD count! Not all of them deserve the bad reputation associated with the genre so I've collated some of the absolute best. Don't expect the revered likes of Gabriel Knight or The 7th Guest which are easily available to buy online. These are the forgotten gems that no-one seems to talk about anymore (if they ever did).

There's even a number of games not previously featured on the site (including QUANTUM GATE and THE CASSANDRA GALLERIES), so go check them out too!




Click on the links below to find out more...


NUMBER 10

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/quantum-gate.html

1993 Hyperbole Studios
Windows 3.1


NUMBER 9

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/santa-fe-mysteries-elk-moon-murder.html

1996-1997 Activision
DOS


NUMBER 8

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/the-cassandra-galleries.html

1997 Corel Corporation & Kutoka Interactive Inc
Windows '95


NUMBER 7

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/the-x-files-game.html

1997 Fox Interactive
Windows '95


NUMBER 6

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/black-dahlia.html

1997 Take-Two Interactive
Windows '95


NUMBER 5

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/rama.html

RAMA (UPDATED)
1996 Sierra On-Line
ScummVM


NUMBER 4

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2018/10/amber-journeys-beyond.html

1996 Hue Forest Entertainment
Windows '95


NUMBER 3

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2020/02/byzantine-betrayal.html

1997 Discovery Communications Inc
Windows '95


NUMBER 2

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2017/04/obsidian.html

1996 Rocket Science Games & SegaSoft
Windows '95


NUMBER 1

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/morpheus.html

1997 Soap Bubble Productions
Windows '95



Like this? Try These...

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/the-book-of-watermarks.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/clue.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/temujin.html


23 comments:

  1. Do you have the Aris Media Clips? I was looking for those ones? Thanks

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    1. I'm not familiar with Aris Media. From what I can tell from a quick search, they're clip art collections. I only focus on games here, but perhaps places like archive.org will have some.

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  2. Thank you! This includes all of my FMV gems except for Dark Side of the Moon.

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    1. That one's still being tricky. The fanmade patches I've been trying aren't working for me (though that could be because I'm trying to make it a portable package too). I've been wanting to play it for a while now.

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    2. I have it running on Windows 98 on top of Portable VirtualBox. I haven't tried to play very far into it but it definitely loads.

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    3. Mine's mainly having issues with the sound. I have a patch which is supposed to fix it, but it doesn't. I'm not too keen on VirtualBox from what I've tried. I believe it's best used as an alternatative desktop for older games rather than single game packages. It may have changed since I last looked into it, but that's the impression I got.

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    4. And I, just for the record, have it running naturally on a machine that is driven by a Windows 7 32-Bit setup, with the only blemish that the mouse pointer, while moving, creates odd graphical streaks (you might call it smearing as well) within a delimited space of the screen where it luckily doesn't affect the control panel(s) and the video window(s).

      Another inexplicable - but really neglectable, though - phenomenon which only occurs with said game is represented by the fact that my PC won't shut down (when it's gonna get forced at the end of the day) if I forget to unmount the DVD image from the virtual drive (I'm using the highly reliable Daemon Tools Lite), and so I've placed a .bat file which automatically performs exactly that action and functions as my so-called "Absolute Unmount Reminder" right next to the game's .exe icon.

      In any case Dark Side Of The Moon is an Adventure that would be to the great advantage of The Collection Chamber. So good luck, Biff, and Godspeed! :-)

      Bye for now,
      Thomas

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    5. I had it working perfectly smoothly on my old Windows Vista 32-bit computer. I don't remember any smearing or any other problems. It is indeed a huge shame that this classic game has gone bust on everyone's Windows 10 setups.

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  3. I was really happy to see Quantum Gate on this list. It was one of the first CD-ROM games I ever played. It didn't get really good ratings in most gaming magazines of the time (due to the limited interactivity) but I enjoyed it nevertheless. It even spawned a novel :)
    That being said, you should probably add "The Vortex", that's the direct sequel to Quantum Gate and a much larger game - QG ends with a cliffhanger and you actually only understand the whole story if you play both.
    I'd also love to see "The Madness of Roland" here. It's an interactive novel and one of the first FMV "games" (not much interaction) ever. That was the first game Greg Roach directed before he made QG and the Vortex.

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    1. Vortex is sure to come here eventually. I remember getting The Madness of Roland from Home of the Underdogs back in the day and enjoying it. It's been a while since I played it , but I remember it being more of a visual novel than an interactive movie, not like that's a bad thing.

      Other of this ilk I remember liking are Sinkha and Hylen. They're cool digital comics based on an Italian comic with stunning computer generated art.

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    2. Well, seen that you're into FMV games too, I'd still really love to see the Vampire Diaries here - I know I wrote that request before lol. It's just that I have the game at home since about 5 years and never got it to run. And it would fit perfectly on that list :)

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  4. Ooh, fantastic list!
    I love FMV adventures - they definately don't deserve the bad reputation they have.

    I've been wanting to play the Santa Fe games for a while, so thanks for adding them. ( :

    Frodo

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    1. You're welcome! Some of them do deserve the bad press (the worst of which tended to favour the SEGA CD), but I believe that's down to the producters and the designers, not the medium. It's like saying all horror is bad because all you've seen is Troll 2.

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  5. Now that's what I call a Hidden Gems Top 10 list entirely to my taste! But not only that, you even surpassed my expectations by throwing two names into the ring of whose existence even my humble self didn't know before - The Cassandra Galleries and Amber: Journeys Beyond, to be precise -; which both came quite as a pleasant surprise and will be checked out very soon. Thanks. So. Much. :-)

    Well, let's see if I am able to take you by surprise as well, Biff. So how about an appealing FMV Adventure from the genre's heyday that saw its one and only Western release on the rather obscure sounding Pioneer LaserActive Mega LD Laserdisc hardware, while - and the strangeness goes further - all the other versions released for various game consoles, Mac and PC were reserved exclusively for Japan. Going by the name of Blue Chicago Blues, this unusual multimedia murder mystery - and the exoticism still goes a step further, because it was produced and published by a Japanese game company, but shot in Chicago and Los Angeles with American actors - is part of the J.B. Harold Detective series, which was (and maybe still is) quite popular in the Land of the Rising Sun; in contrast to the West, which would have justified that game's former release police to a certain extent.

    Luckily for J.B. Harold's admirers outside wonderful Japan, there's a fan-made patch for the Japanese PC - and Mac, I believe to know - versions of Blue Chicago Blues available (which are the only Japan releases where surprisingly the videos aren't dubbed) that translates the Japanese ingame texts into English while it leaves the English speech output untouched, of course.

    Now that's what you would call a hell of a hidden FMV gem, wouldn't you? :-)

    Bye for now,
    Thomas

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    1. I have heard of the JB Harold games, though I've not played them. I think I first knew of it when it came out on the DS and read a preview of it somewhere in the hope of a UK release. It never came. I'll try and hunt down the English language game you mentioned.

      The Japanese as a whole never seemed to fall out of love with adventures. A lot of western releases got exclusive console ports over there (including Quantum Gate from this list, The Neverhood and Dark Seed). They also love their visual novels though not all of them interest me.

      What does is a PlayStation FMV adventure game called Unsolved. I'm hoping a translation patch will some day come about 'cos it looks great. The video is entirely spoken in English but unlike The Book of Watermarks, there's a lot of in-game text that needs translating. It looks like it could a decent game and a cool thriller to boot.

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    2. So I took a look into this because it sounds interesting. I've gotten the game itself to work in both Windows 3.1 and 95, but I've not had any luck with the translation. It probably doesn't help that it's from the old-games.ru forums with little to no instructions and those are by way of Google translate. I did what *seems* like the correct thing to do with it but it's basically just resulting in a lot of crashes.

      I'll keep digging but not a whole lot of luck so far. Maybe I'm missing something. I will say that unlike some games, this one does need a translation to be playable because you're given choices for how to proceed at different points and those take the form of choosing one of a number of boxes which are in Japanese by default.

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    3. Although I brought Blue Chicago Blues on the table two posts above, I'm in the same boat as you, Zombeaver, however without any crashes during the translation process, which strangely didn't make it any better, though. I only tried it with the Windows 95 version, but hearing that your tinkering with the Windows 3.1 release wasn't successful either, now seems to leave Biff as the chosen one on whom our (promising) hopes will rest on to be crowned with success one fine day. :-)

      Bye for now,
      Thomas

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  6. The file that's linked as the "translation" on the LegendsWorld listing for the game is, as near as I can tell, not the translation itself. It seems to be a tool for extracting the text files contained in the All.bin file that's installed with the game (that are all in Japanese). But that's all it does as far as I can see. There is, however, a file that's in the thread called "BCB translat.7z" and it does appear to be a translation. It contains some additional .exes for the game - one that's English and one that's the original Japanese. I *think* you're supposed to replace the All.bin that's installed with the game with the one that's included there named All_eng-bad.BIN and then use the BCB_E-1.exe. That seems to work initially, as the first player choice is in English, but after choosing one or the other the game crashes. I tried:

    1) Putting all the .bins in the folder and keeping them separate / named as they are in the archive
    2) Renaming ALL_eng-bad.BIN to All.bin and replacing the one that's installed with the game
    3) Putting all the .exes in the folder and keeping them separate / named as they are in the archive
    4) Renaming BCB_E-1.exe to BCB.exe and replacing the one that's installed with the game

    In all cases either the translation didn't work at all or worked initially and then caused a crash. I tried with 3.1 in DOSBox, 95 in DOSBox, 95 in PCem, and 98 in PCem. Same result in all cases. I don't know if I'm just missing something or what but, again, since there are essentially no instructions on how to use any of it I'm just left kindof guessing what I'm supposed to do with them.

    The thread is here: https://www.old-games.ru/forum/threads/j-b-harold-blue-chicago-blues.80830/

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    1. From the words you wrote, I remember that I took a very similar (if not the same) approach in the past, but can't recall the exact details any more without busying myself again with a renewed induction. However, what I still remember is the mental exhaustion and the associated frustration which took place right after the inability of getting Blue Chicago Blues to run in English. ;-(

      Bye for now,
      Thomas

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  7. Fantastic list! I recall Obsidian and Morpheus were the games which drew me to this site in the first place. Some of my earlier requests like Amber and Byzantine had been fulfilled before, and now I'm pleased to see some of my later requests like The Cassandra Galleries being fulfilled. In the whole internet, as far as I know, only this site could have a collection like this. It is truly unique.

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  8. I wasn't forgotten THE X-FILES: THE GAME how terrible it was.

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  9. I was kinda hoping to see Realms of The haunting here. For me is the best FMV adventure game ever, coupled with Tex Murphy games.

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  10. Mastran: I agree, but all the Tex Murphy games and Realms of the Haunting are available to buy on GOG, which is why they wouldn't appear on this list or anywhere on this site. As he said at the top, games like Gabriel Knight and The 7th Guest are obviously great FMV adventures, but since they are available to buy on GOG or other online sites, they fall outside the scope of this site.

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